Ingredients that are normally difficult to find in the U.S., such as Egusi, for the popular Nigerian Egusi Soup, or Semolina, Pounded Yam and healthier versions such as Plaintain Fufu are now available online thanks to startup Deeskus.
Deeskus, the speciality food supplier, is the latest product from the Nigerian-based internet and telecommunications company Nultan LLC. Initially launching in Maryland, Washington DC Metro Area and Virginia, Deeskus is an online grocery store that supplies the U.S.’s immigrant population with traditional and hard-to-find African foods.
Although only the African immigrant population in the U.S. already reaches a 1.6 million, most supermarkets have not yet included the ingredients used by the African, Caribbean, or Latino kitchen. “Today present if you live in the U.S. and want to prepare traditional African, Latino or Caribbean food, your local grocery store could be hundreds of miles away,” said Mabel Imala, Co-founder and CEO of Nultan USA.“Either you wait for friends to visit from your home country, pay excessive fees for long distance delivery, or go without.”
Deeskus is bridging this gap with its online ethnic supermarket offering all sorts of exotic ingredients that are easily purchasable online. Moreover, with Deeskus, customers do not have to pay to shop on the website (there are no members’ fees) and interested business owners like store owners can sign up to be a partner store for free. The startup is the latest venture from parent company Nultan. Founder Imala created the company after a successful career working for food giant Nestle.
Deeskus is entering the market as the food startup trend is on the rise. Companies like Blue Apron and Instacart are now billion dollar industries, and niche food delivery services like Munchery and Maple are exploding.
“We plan to capitalize on the success of rivals like Instacart and Peapod by serving the populations they don’t. We are the Instacart for this minority population,” Imala added.
Deeskus has formed working relationships with grocery firms specializing in African, Latino and Mexican foods; it is these firms who will provide the supplies for customer orders. Similarly, by working closely with independent delivery drivers, Deeskus has contracted couriers to deliver goods to customer homes or businesses on the same day an order is placed.